Friends. This is a page in my university magazine with cropped version of my graduation photo where I am shaking hands with the President of the university and receiving my (fake) diploma.
Most people would be excited about this right? Well I’m not.
My uni is predominately white, upper middle class students and the campus climate is not always welcoming for students like me. This photo is attached to an article about the opening of the university’s Center of Inclusion and Diversity earlier this year. It includes no student input, no quotes from the women of color who work their asses off in this office and are the backbone of our support system, or the fact that there is an Assistant Provost of Inclusion and Diversity.
See the thing is, while this center is new, the office has always been there. During my four years it was called The Office of Multicultural Life and we were crammed in a small corner of the student center where no one could ever find us. I’m grateful that future students now have more space and the center itself has more publicity. But at the end of the day, my mentors that run this office still don’t get the recognition that they deserve. And many people on campus (students and administrators) don’t care about making campus better for underrepresented students.
Even the man that I’m shaking hands with (yeah, the president) does not understand how important this office is. He is a wealthy white man and he doesn’t get it. Not only does he not get it but he doesn’t care. Of course he says he does, but we know that he doesn’t.
So yeah. Just thought I’d share that with you all.